The students in Rogers’ class in Los Angeles were primarily white, recall the sisters. There were four other African-Americans, but Rogers’ skin was darker than everyone else's. Rogers, now 11, remembers being asked to draw a picture of herself; the teacher gave her a black crayon while the other African-American students were given brown ones.
So Erika Pollard, the girls' mom, moved Rogers to a more diverse school for the 2013 - 2014 school year.
At the school Rogers attended from second through fifth grade, kids still made fun of her, but this time the kids bullying her were black. Rogers came to learn that this called colorism.
So in the spring of 2017, Taylor Pollard tweeted a photo of Rogers with the hashtag, “#FlexinInHerComplexion,” an expression the sisters' grandmother, Bettie Pollard, who grew up in Louisiana, used frequently to encourage the girls to feel beautiful.
“When that picture was published, I went viral,” Rogers tells CNBC Make It. (The original tweet was accidentally deleted, but Pollard had a screenshot, which she has since retweeted.)
In response to the post, the sisters received a flurry of messages supporting Rogers and decided they wanted to channel that energy. Together, they came up with the idea of putting the message on a t-shirt. Their business, Flexin’ In My Complexion, launched shortly thereafter in April 2017.
Erika gave the sisters about a $100 to get their project off the ground, Pollard says. They used some of the money to build a website.